Why Does Adoption Cost So Much?

Our approval yesterday went great. We signed some papers and handed over our profile book. The adoption workers discussed what to expect next, which basically was anything. Every birth-mom is entirely different, and every adoptive family is different. It’s impossible to predict how long it will take for us to be chosen, but now we are officially a choice.

So of course in the mail today I opened the box to find a letter from Bethany.

bill

So sweet of them – a bill for $5000. Thankfully, we have been very used to limiting our spending and have saved up enough so that with the $2200 you have given us, we don’t need to panic or take out a loan!

Which means only $14,000-17,000 more to go!

Which leads me to the common question we are asked:

“Why Does Adoption Cost So Much?”

A great question! I wondered the same thing and checked on other agencies and other options for adopting for less. I was surprised to find that Bethany actually had the lowest cost of all the agencies I looked into. The short answer is this:

  • Birth mother expenses (hospital, housing, food)
  • Government and legal fees
  • Counseling with potential birth mothers
  • Adoption agency overhead and expenses
  • Advertising on your behalf

The only real way to bypass such incredible expenses is to adopt from foster care, which is no cost. And while we may do this in the future, foster care means two significant things we don’t feel ready for: (1) Agreeing to support the goal of re-uniting the child with their parents and (2) most-likely adopting an older child. With Elise not yet two years old, we felt ready to grow our family, but not ready to disrupt her birth-order or expect her to handle having foster-siblings coming and going from our home.

I believe back in 2012 there was a $12,000 government refund for adoption. Now, they have made up to $12,000 tax deductible. Which to me, makes no sense. At a minimum, why isn’t the entire expense tax deductible? Just sayin, it should be.

In addition, my employer offers $5000 reimbursement – which was amazing until I realized that I will not be paid for any leave I take because I did not give birth. So I am thankful for that, but will be using it to cover my leave. And taking that time is extremely important in adoption because the adoptive parents are not who the baby has heard and smelled and felt since conception. So much of the research supports new parents taking as much time as possible to bond with and nurture an infant.

So while the cost was EXTREMELY overwhelming at first — and still is somewhat of course — I’ve been amazed at God’s faithfulness throughout. Every single gift has been… an indescribable blessing. Not just because of the towering cost, but because people care. God cares. I was so disappointed when I found out my work did not win a $1500/employee bonus that we were favored for. The timing and amount would have been perfect. But God – through even more meaningful means – provided exactly what we needed. Thank you for every gift, friends – not just financially, but in your “congratulationses” (?), encouragement, and excitement for our family. 

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3 thoughts on “Why Does Adoption Cost So Much?

    • I do live in the US and it is legal, because they call it “Short Term Disability” when you give birth. If they didn’t give the $5000, I would want to make them aware of the cost of adoption and how unfair that is. Wish there was a loop-hole!

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      • That’s just so strange. I did give birth to our son and believe me, no one offered me short term disability! I was paying premiums for it even. FMLA protected my maternity leave, but it was unpaid. I’m really glad you do get that 5k to offset things a bit. My husband took a month of paternity leave as well but he was allowed to use sick time for it so he was still getting a salary.

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